March 6th, 2008

The Zombie

I Come In Peace

March 5 -  Greetings from Earth-53!  According to O.F.O.WOMP Brent Frankenhoff, that's apparently the locale from which my time-misplaced WOMP-Blog posts originate.  This "March 5" entry, for example, is being written at 2:30PM on March 6th.  What can I say?  When I last woke up to start my "day" (not including a nap), it was 10:00AM on the 5th, so, for me, that's the extended "day" upon which I am now reflecting.  It's weird, to be sure, but that's just how things have been for me recently.  When I "chose" to pursue a cartooning career (or did it choose me?), I don't think that I ever really considered how much work it can be.  It's a good thing that I enjoy it for the most part.  That reminds me of The WOMP Staff's suggestion for March's "...Of The Day" theme, Comic Book Misconceptions.  I was already starting to warm to the idea when Brent sent me an e-mail seconding that motion.  In fact, he included some very good examples with his e-note that helped get my mind rolling.  Armed with those, my own thoughts on the subject, and the amusing musings of my comics-outsider wife, I present to you tonight your first Comic Book Misconception of The Day - Comics are Art (with the capital "A") - Look; I'm the first to fight anyone who claims that comics are just worthless Pop Culture junk.  Great artists have created great Art which also just happened to have been in comic book form.  There are some works, like Watchmen, which have even been more publicly regarded as great classics, on par with Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn or Pablo Picasso's Guernica.  But...but, while comic books may contain or present Art, the form itself is basically the product of business.  I'm sorry to sound so cynical about it - although many other artforms are also so classified, when it comes right down to it - but I've learned that the world of comics is more about sales than great artistry.  Of course great artistry can sell lots of comics, but so can clever marketing.  In fact, great Art often does much more poorly, sales-wise, compared to stuff that's just well-advertised.  At about the same time that X-Force was rocketing off of the stands, I picked up several copies of each of the first several issues of Jeff Smith's Bone from a quarter-box at a La Crosse, Wisconsin, comics shop.  When looking back at the history of the comics artform, I am struck by how the most important lines drawn were often the bottom lines.  I suppose that it could be said, at least, that "Comics are in the business of Art," but the concept that artistic ideals and personal expression are what comic books are all about...?  Well, that's just another Comic Book Misconception.